Dental implants are rapidly becoming the standard of care for replacing missing teeth. A dental implant is quite simply an artificial root. Implants are titanium screws that are placed in the jaw in spaces that teeth once occupied. The implant is placed by an oral surgeon or periodontist (gum specialist). The implant is then allowed to integrate into the jaw bone for a period of weeks to many months. The implant is then restored by the dentist.
An implant typically is three separate units. The implant itself which is placed into the jaw bone. An abutment is a piece that attaches to the implant body and is the part that sticks out of the gum tissue. Finally the restoration, a crown or full/partial denture, is cemented, screwed, or snapped into place.
Indications for implants:
Replacement of single or multiple missing teeth
Support for removable full or partial dentures, securing them in place
Support for a fixed partial denture (bridge)
Dental implants are an excellent long lasting treatment option for the replacement of missing teeth. They can however, on rare occasion, fail or become loose. In these few instances the implant would have to be removed or simply tightened.